(NATHAN PIEDAD / EYE OF THE TIGER)
RJUHSD is partnering with businesses to offer internships to students in the final class of CTE pathways which will count for high school credit. Students in the CTE courses will submit a cover letter, resume and interview for the position. If they receive it, they then take an internship class once a week offered at schools in the district and begin interning at the business during their fourth period on the remaining days.
This “Work Based Learning Program” is intended as a method for giving experience and preparation for students as they enter the workforce, along with elective credits in the school to meet graduation requirements.
RJUHSD will offer three types of internships: Exploratory Work Experience with unpaid internships, General Work Experience with paid internships, and Summer Work Experience with both unpaid and paid work. Students will need to work a minimum of six hours a week at the business.
According to RJUHSD coordinator of work-based learning Terri Griffin, the process of application for internships is meant to emulate the standards seen by normal employment in the workforce.
“Students would apply for the internship just like they would in the open market,” Griffin said. “The business partners will ultimately select their interns.”
The program will begin next semester, with 22 employers currently signed on to offering internships. Along with this, there will be a summer program for the students as further introduction to the program.
This year, internships are offered in business, engineering, photography, graphic design and media, and construction. According to Griffin, the program is looking for industry partners to offer internships in culinary and information and communications technology.
“My main goal [is] working on establishing viable business partnerships for this so they just keep coming in every day, and we hope to have a minimum of 50 kids out in the fall,” Griffin said.
According to director of CTE and data analysis Shane Waggoner, the program is not intended to replace the standard pathways that schools currently have, instead acting as an opportunity for students to gain traction into their transition to the workforce.
“We were very diligent in making sure that the internships we were setting up – they are an auxiliary experience for the students – are an enriching experience to give the student a better understanding of the field they’re potentially entering into by being part of that pathway, but it is not part of the pathway,” Waggoner said.
Despite plans to provide internships for every subject pathway, the district still needs to find employers for some CTE pathways.
“That’s our ultimate goal, is to be able to provide opportunities for all of our students in all of our programs… We’re working with the city of Roseville, with Placer County, we’ve working with quite a number of different businesses within the region, and we’re getting those internships lined up,” Waggoner said. “Being it’s our first year, there’s a couple of spaces where we don’t have them yet.”
To senior and biomedical student Jazzy Kittle, district-provided internships would prove useful as for the biomedical pathway as well.
“[The internships] would be helpful in the long run because there are a lot of students that are trying to take these classes now. They’re becoming more popular. So if there are more internships, then it’s more career opportunities for students looking into this field,” Kittle said. “Meanwhile, we just have to find our own separate internships as of now.”